Motherhood is hard. That’s an understatement of a century! The thing that gets me is that you never stop feeling guilty. Ever. Granted, I probably have a good reason to feel guilty. Giving kids too much junk food? Check. Too much TV? Oh yeah! Raising my voice (aka yelling)? Guilty. Arguing with my husband in front of the kids? Affirmative. I saw this meme on Facebook: “Marriage is a walk in a park… Jurassic Park.” Truth.
I didn’t expect just how hard it would be to raise a daughter. Sure, my son can be a handful. But his issues mostly have to do with the fact that he is a rascal. He constantly gets into trouble, but he is a happy, good-natured kid. My daughter, on the other hand, can be an emotional mess…at 8 years of age. Seriously, is this normal or should I shoot myself before teenage years arrive?
Something she’s said to me lately is that I don’t really listen to her, but instead do household stuff or look at my iPad. And sadly, there is some truth to that. Like most moms, I’m distracted by various everyday tasks, not to mention, building my blogging empire (loosely used term). The other day she said that she wishes there was someone who would listen to her stories. And she has so many stories to tell! That was a kick in the pants.
One of my older friends who has grown children told me something few days ago. She said her big regret is not paying attention to her kids’ (sometimes annoying) questions when they were little and instead, simply answering “I don’t know” each and every time. Children are not dumb and can sense when they are being ignored. She told me to answer the darn question, even if it has been asked a hundred times before.
I decided it’s time to start doing things differently. Last weekend we went on a short mother/daughter getaway to a nearby Residence Inn Sebring and I left my iPad at home. On the way there my daughter spotted a pet store and asked me to go inside so she could look at the animals. I hate going to that place because invariably, she starts begging me to get her a pet after we leave. But this was her trip, so I went. And of course, the begging and tears began as soon as we got back in the car.
I told her we will get a pet when she turns 10. There are several reasons why I keep putting it off. One of them surfaced recently. I overheard my son making this statement: “If you hold a cat underwater, he will transform into a dog.” He wasn’t kidding. Yep,definitely need to wait a few years.
Can you get a better deal for 10,000 Marriott points?
I doubt it. The suite at this particular Marriott Residence Inn is a steal, considering the fact that it runs at only 10,000 points per night and includes full hot breakfast. Paid rate is $145, so it’s an excellent redemption, which is why we’ve stayed here a few times. Keep in mind that the occupancy limit is 3. See this page for more information on Chase Marriott Premier Visa. You might also want to read my post How regular families can benefit from Marriott/SPG merger.
I wanted to take a few photos of the room, but my daughter insisted on posing for the camera. Sure, why not. I did NOT tell her to “perform” for the blog:
Hmm, no specific meaning, just us gals walking around the lake
We swam in the heated pool, which was relaxing, and enjoyed the hot tub. Afterwards, I told her we could watch anything she wanted on TV and she picked “America’s Funniest Videos” show. Yipee! Cue two glorious hours of stupid pet tricks and folks getting kicked in the crotch. But once again, this wasn’t about me. The next morning she got in my bed and we just talked without any distractions. That was nice.
The breakfast at Residence Inn is usually really good, and this one was no exception. Fresh waffles, eggs, fruit, everything was top notch. They even had fancy cheese! Not the cheap kind you get at Walmart, but the one with a crust. What a nice treat. I consider Residence Inn to be a poor man’s Hyatt. By that logic, Holiday Inn Express is a poor man’s Residence Inn.
I was very concerned that my son would be upset when we got home, but he was perfectly fine. He told me they had a great “boys” day. My husband took him to Dunkin Donuts and gave him two new toys. My son is a simple dude. He did ask me what kind of hotel we stayed at and whether it was a Hyatt (his favorite). I told him it was not a Hyatt, and that there was no waterpark on premises. That’s all he needed to know.
One getaway can’t fix everything
We had a really nice time, but it’s clear to me that more is required. I simply can’t use miles and points to make up for everyday failings. I wish there was a magical fix, but it doesn’t exist. When it comes to parenting, it’s about journey more than it is about destination. And sometimes I feel like the least qualified “driver” in the world. Come to think of it, I am a bad driver, in literal sense. Nope, not because I’m a woman!
More than anything else, I want my kids to grow up and have good memories of their childhood. Sure, our family is quite dysfunctional, but both my husband and I keep trying. And that’s all we parents can do, right?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.